Disappearing Organization? Civilizing and Decivilizing Processes in Organizational Life
This session focuses on the various ways in which the ideas and arguments of Norbert Elias and those influenced by him concerning processes of civilization and decivilization can contribute both to enduring questions in the sociology of organizations and to more recent developments in organizational life. Possible themes and topics include, but are not confined to:
- The relevance of Elias’s analysis of court society for contemporary organizations.
- The distinctive contribution of Elias’s analysis of habitus in analysing organizational subjectivity.
- Case studies of organizational dynamics and change drawing on Elias’s concepts of habitus, figuration, established/outside relations, and technological development
- Changes in the labour process and shifts in relations between different forms of work within organizations.
- The changed role of the human body within organizational life, and how this can be understood in terms of the civilizing process.
- The specific theoretical significance of Elias’s work for organizational studies, in relation to theorists such as Goffman, Foucault, Latour or Luhmann.
- The ways in which Elias’s account of the development of the civilizing process can cast new light on the history of organizational life.
Other topics and research concerns in the utilization of Elias and figurational sociology to analysse organizations, including those that draw on other sub-field in sociology, such as economic sociology, the sociology of work, the sociology of gender, or science and technology studies, are also welcome. The session is open to scholars at all levels, and we will welcome contributions from PhD students and all early-career researchers.